Link Love: Instagrammatical & TWSBIs (made-up words!)

Image credits (clockwise from top left: Noyolajose, Mary Kate McDevitt, Tuesday Next [that's me!],  FPGeeks, Rad And Hungry, MyCoffeePot, Rad And Hungry,  Elltbr, and GouletPens)

Image credits (clockwise from top left: Noyolajose, Mary Kate McDevitt, Tuesday Next [that's me!], FPGeeks, Rad And Hungry, MyCoffeePot, Rad And Hungry, Elltbr, and GouletPens)

Yeah for awesome Instagram friends! If you’re not following the folks in the photo collage above, I highly recommend them for wonderful office accoutrement photo yummies.

In other news:

Paper and Notebooks:

Pens and Ink:


For Valentine’s Day:

(via Creatively Curated)

Download the hi-rez file at  Creatively Curated

Get Organized: Todoist Next

Todoist Next screenshots

Today, Todoist upgraded its platform with web-, mobile-, browser- and desktop-based versions of the app and an all-new, streamlined look. They are definitely setting themselves to compete with Wunderlist. The new version offers free collaboration and what appears to be extensive functionality, especially with the collaboration tools and could give Basecamp a run for its money for small teams.

The regular apps and web interface are free. The premium account ($29/yr) offers additional features including adding notes and file attachments, task search, color-coded labels, email or text task reminders, automatic backup and synchronization with iCal. I think the premium version will be the way to go since being able to add text, images and URLs to a task would make things so much simpler. The price per year is less than Wunderlist which is $49/yr for collaboration but Wunderlist allows notes and images in the free version but there’s no indication in a list or sub-list that a photo or note is associated with the item. So it works… sort of. I certainly don’t think I’ll miss the wood grain if I switch.

I waffle between loving the cross-platform convenience of digital to-do lists and missing its paper counterparts and physically crossing things off, adding details and saving the completed lists. Being able to add a task on my phone, then review it or deal with it when I’m parked in front of my computer has a lot of appeal though paper could do the same thing.

This app seems like its is the best of all possible to-do list apps, sleek, streamlined and upgradeable for a small fee. Would you or have you tried any of these digital to-do lists?

News: Planner Camp


Planner Camp is an online class, forum and resources to help you create your own planner to organize and plan your perfect year. Planner Camp starts on Monday and costs $49US. Some of the topics and features of the project include:

  • Three weeks of private posts, tips and video tutorials
  • Access to a private student Facebook Group
  • Pre-designed planner templates for you to customize into your perfect planner, fast!
  • Weekly video based lessons on customizing the planner templates using Adobe InDesign ®.
    Don’t have it? Don’t worry! Check the FAQ for details on the affordable month to month access option & 30 Day Free Trial.
  • Pre-designed templates that are customized to work with two tried & true binding systems: Filofax ® (A5 size) & M by Staples™ Arc Customizable Notebooks (Junior size).
  • Advice for printing at home or working with a professional printer, including strategies to minimize costs.
  • Unique design ideas to help you create a year built around your values & passions! From taking great care of yourself to accomplishing your goals, feeling fabulous, and having as much fun as you can dream up.
  • Weekly open office hours for one-on-one student questions, design support and troubleshooting.

(via Freckled Nest)

Link Love: The Deja Vu Edition

A lot of topics I’ve mentioned in the past, have made appearances on other blogs this week. I thought I’d start with those…

Note: In this section, the first link is my original post and the links in parentheses are the posts from other bloggers.

And now back to our regularly scheduled Link Love:


Pencils, Pens & Ink:


Preview: Frankie Daily Journal for 2014


I have always been curious about the incredibly popular Frankie Magazine Daily Journal ($26.95AU). So, I ordered one. In the time that elapsed between ordering the book and it arriving here in the States, I also received the Hobonichi which stole my nerdy heart.

This does not mean that I was not completely blown away with how lovely and romantic the Daily Journal is. Its full of gorgeous illustrations, decorative patterned borders and hand-lettered dates.

The planner is approximately 7.5″x5.75″. The cover is a beautiful heavyweight sage twill with the text stamped into it in cream. There’s a matching satin ribbon bookmark too. The binding seems sturdy but the book opens nicely. The paper is weighty (I’d compare it to American 80lb or 100lb text weight. Copy paper is about 20-30lb weight, if that gives you an idea of the sturdiness). My only concern for usability is all the printing on the paper may have added some coating to the paper that might resist some inks.

In the back cover is a printed pocket for loose sheets. There are also perforated cards, stickers and other goodies bound into the back of the book.


In the front of the book are month overviews with floral illustration. Weekly pages span two pages with Saturday and Sunday sharing a small space.


Its such a lovely book that I couldn’t bring myself to blemish it to do pen tests. Instead, I’d like to give it away to one lucky reader. In exchange, I hope that you’ll report back to me how well the paper performs so I can decide if I want to use one next year.

Let’s make this a quick giveaway so I can get this to the winner ASAP to start the new year off right. Leave a comment and tell me one of your goals, plans or resolutions for 2014.

Frankie Daily Journal 2014

FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Wednesday, January 1, 2014. All entries must be submitted at, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Thursday. Winner will be selected by random number generator from entries that played by the rules (see above). Please include your email address in the comment form so that I can contact you if you win. I will not save email addresses or sell them to anyone — pinky swear. If winner does not respond within 30 days, I will draw a new giveaway winner. Shipping via USPS first class is covered. Additional shipping options or insurance will have to be paid by the winner. We are generous but we’re not made of money.

Review: Hobonichi Planner 2014

Hobonichi 2014 planner cover

Over the last few months, I’ve heard a lot of interest in the Hobonichi Planner. The name roughly translates to ‘Just about everyday planner’. The first aspect of this planner that piqued my interest was that it is filled with the much-coveted Tomoe River paper, known for its fountain pen friendliness. It’s also considered one of the most well-loved, easy-to-use planners. The combination of those two things meant I desperately wanted to try it for myself. Since there is now an English language edition, there was no reason not to try it.


What I didn’t know was that the Hobonichi planner was part of a much larger project by Shigesato Itoi. He is a well-known figure in Japan for being a advertising copywriter, creator of Nintendo Mother 2/Earthbound video game, voice actor in the epic Miyazaki film My Neighbor Totoro and the founder of online publication Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shimbun (Almost-Daily Itoi Newspaper). The planner was originally part of the site’s shop to generate revenue instead of selling ads. The planner has been made in Japanese for over 12 years but in 2013, the first English edition was published.

Following the 2011 Tsunami in Japan, many victims lamented the loss of their beloved planner so Itoi decided to give free planners away to any tsunami victim who had lost theirs in the disaster. Over 1400 people took him up on his offer and he’s received thank you notes and kind words for helping victims get their paper lives back. That shows the dedication of the fans to the planner and how much Shigesato Itoi appreciates that loyalty.

About the planner:

Hobonichi 2014 planner

Now, let’s get into the details of the planner. The planner itself is a small book, covered with a flexible black leatherette cover stamped with gold foil (¥2,500, approx. $24.50). The stamped charaters say “techo” along with the key logo for Arts & Sciences. The book is perfect-bound with the date and “HOBO” foil stamped on the spine. The standard planner is a lot smaller than I thought it would be: 15cm x 10.5cm (4.125″x5.875″). The planner is just 1.5cm thick (0.625″) which is due in large part to the Tomoe River paper’s thinness since this is a page-a-day planner so there are a lot of pages crammed into a small space (over 400 pages!).

Hobonichi 2014 planner

Hobonichi planner

Most pages feature a petite 4mm grid in dotted grey lines. There are blank pages in the back of the book for notes that feature a red dot grid (also at 4mm spacing).

There are tabs along the edge of the pages to indicate each month. Sunday pages are printed in red and Saturday and Sunday get FULL PAGES. Most planners give Saturday and Sunday a shared page, if that much so if you work a unique schedule or fit as much in on the weekends as you do during the week, then you will really appreciate this.

At the bottom of each two-page spread is a quote, many from Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shimbun and well-known figures in Japanese culture. Some are thoughtful, some are light-hearted and silly.

Hobonichi planner

December is a “head start” with 2-days-on-a-page in a long vertical space. Its perfect for writing out all those holiday must-do’s and to get a sense of how the planner will perform for you. In just the few days I’ve been using it, the page size doesn’t seem so small. It seems just right. There’s room enough for my notes, to-do’s and calendar activities without being too large to keep it with me.

Hobonichi planner

In the back of the planner there are some informational pages like international calling codes, holidays, a guide to sushi and sake, and tea around the world. These might not be a necessity but they do provide some entertaining reading while you’re waiting for the next meeting to start. In the research I did, it appears that the 2013 edition included different factoids in the back. Something to look forward to for next year is what might be included in the back!

For even more detailed information about what’s inside the Hobonichi planner, visit the Closer Look pages.

Hobonichi planner

The paper is a unique experience. Its very lightweight and my instincts tell me that ink would bleed through it easily but that is not the case at all. I tend to use a multi-pen in my planner so total fountain-pen-friendly isn’t a key factor for me in selecting a planner but a planner that IS fountain pen friendly is a real bonus.

For a detailed review of the Tomoe River paper, the stock used in the Hobonichi planner, Azizah of Gourmet Pens did a fabulous write-up for FP Geeks.

Hobonichi planner

I tested an assortment of pens from my tried-and-true Marvy Le Pens to a range of Uni, Pilot and Zebra gel multi-pens, pencils and even fontain pens. None of the inks bled or feathered or did anything unacceptable. As others have mentioned, with heavier ink deposits on Tomoe River paper, take longer to dry so proceed with caution there so you don’t get transfer onto the facing page but it also means that you can use whatever tool you have in your hand from the finest of gel pens to the juiciest of fountain pens without the ink bleeding or feathering.

Hobonichi planner

From the back of the page, you can see the inks through the paper but there is no bleeding at all despite the thinness of the stock. Pretty amazing.

Hobonichi planner

I folded a page back so that it would be easier to see that even the printing is visible through the stock.

About the Cover:

Hobonichi 2014 planner cover

I received one of the simple nylon covers in a bright, true blue. It features loads of pockets and an interlocking pen loop that, when a pen is slipped through the loops, the planner stays closed. Quite ingenious. The loops are large enough to hold a thick multi-pen or a slender fountain pen if you slip the clip over the loop.

Hobonichi 2014 planner cover

The cover also has two matching grosgrain ribbon bookmarks. One has a triangle shape at the end and the other is a rectangle, both in a leather-like PU. As a user, you get to decide what marks what page. I use the rectangle to mark the month-at-a-glance calender page and the triangle to mark today’s page.

Hobonichi 2014 planner cover

Inside, the cover has lots of pockets and slots to hold cards, reciepts and paper ephemera. There are embroidered tags in the back with the words HOBONICHI and another with the year 2014.

Hobonichi 2014 planner cover

My planner also shipped with the protective plastic sleeve that fits perfectly over the nylon cover. The plastic cover includes a ziploc-style opening on the back to allow access to the outside pocket on the cover. While it feels a bit like plastic on the furniture, it does protect the outside of the planner cover, should I want to add additional customization like stickers or artwork or just slide a photo in between the cover and the protective sleeve.

There are lots of options for covers for the Hobonichi planner. The prices for covers range from ¥1,900 for a nylon cover to ¥31,500 (approx. $18.50- $300) for a leather cover with stitching (that high-end cover can only be shipped within Japan) at present. Several covers are scheduled to be restocked in the next couple days so check back regularly.

How to Order:

I think what’s stopped a lot of people from trying the Hobonichi planner is that ordering from Japan was a bit challenging. Well, that’s been remedied thanks to the work of Lindsay, a translator working for Hobonichi and a big fan of the planner herself. She’s translated the ordering process to be pretty seamless. The whole ordering process is in English if you use the links I’ve included here.

She’s even created a guide to help non-Japanese speakers order from any Japanese web site.

For more about the  Hobonichi Techo planner, it’s thriving community and other reviews:

In closing:

This is one of the best planners I’ve ever had. The size is good, the paper is exceptional, the light grid lines are easy-to-use with most ink colors and the details within the book are spot-on. If you’re inclined to use a planner this year, this would be my first recommendation.

DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Lindsay for Hobonichi Planner for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Link Love: Heart-Stealing Pens, Paper & Inks

Pen Buying Process

Pen Buying Process by Andrew Tan of Drewscape/Wibble Wibble


Notebooks & Paper:




The Standard Memorandum


Word Notebooks partnered with hand lettering guru Jon Contino to create a historically-inspired agenda called the Standard Memorandum. Its a slim volume at just  2.35″ x 5.25″ to easily slide into a pocket. The black cardstock cover is foil stamped in decorative lettering, “The Standard Memorandum” with the branding on the back in foil as well. Jon chose beautifully classic typography for dates and information. Word offers the notebook with its plain paper covers for $11 or purchase it with a sturdy leather cover in black, tan or brown (free monogramming available) for $45.